7 Anti-Aging Secrets of Mushrooms
Everything you need to know about the power of shrooms.
Mushrooms are one of the hottest buzzwords in the skincare industry. In 2016, Mintel predicted that the fungi would be one of the hottest ingredients in beauty superfoods, and they weren't wrong. "Consumers are interested in products that balance the mood while reducing skin irritation," Irina Ene, Mintel's Beauty Manager, tells The Telegraph. "The natural biodiversity of fungi makes them a versatile ingredient with potential to establish a mind-body connection, with emotional and physical benefits from anti-stress to energy." Here is what you need to know about the anti-aging powers of mushrooms.
"There's growing interest in beauty from the inside out, and particularly in Eastern approaches to health and beauty," explains Helga Hertsig-Lavocah, a trend forecaster at Hint Futurology. "Mushrooms have been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine dating back as far as AD 200 to increase lifespan, support immunity and improve brain function."
"Adaptogens" is a buzzy word in the mushroom world, referring to naturally occurring compounds that help the body adjust to stress by regulating the production of the stress hormone cortisol.
Another mushroom compound, nootropics, are linked to enhanced brain power, focus, and alertness. In fact, caffeine is considered a nootropic.
Reishi mushrooms can reduce redness and inflammation. "This is one of the best-studied medicinal mushrooms, with more than 5,000 publications on its applications, history and active biomolecules," says Sophie Barrett of Hifas da Terra, a biotech company that develops medicinal mushroom-based products. "Its benefits are due to the presence of beta-glucans – which help to hydrate skin – and terpenes – which contain antioxidants that protect the skin from free radical damage, such as pollution and UV exposure, that lead to premature aging."
Cordyceps are good for strengthening and firming. "Both reishi and cordyceps mushrooms have been found to have anti-inflammatory properties," says Dr Andrew Weil, an expert in integrative medicine. "They also contain ingredients that can help to stimulate the production of collagen, the protein that makes skin firm and elastic."
Lion's Mane mushrooms are good for improving gut health, immunity, and mood. "Lion's Mane contains hundreds of bioactive components that have been studied for their role in gut microbiota health and we know there's a strong relationship between the gut and the brain, as well as between the gut and the immune system," Barrett explains.
Chaga are beneficial for soothing and calming redness and irritation. "The Chaga mushroom is notable for the quantity and variety of polysaccharides that it contains," says Barrett. "These are substances that can have an impact on the immune system."
Tremella are great for preventing premature aging and hydration. "Also known as Snow Mushrooms for their white color, Tremella are known for their ability to hold onto moisture," says Dr Weil. "They can hold many times their weight in water and so are great for increasing hydration in the skin."